Friday, January 17, 2014

Chickie update

Our little chicks are growing like weeds.  We moved them out of the bathroom and into the shed.  I miss playing with them all day but chickens are definitely not house animals.  They are loud, poop a lot, and make chicken dust.  Really, I've never seen a tiny animal make so much dust!  We are working on waterproofing their coop so when it's warm enough they can move right into it.

We still don't know if we have hens or roosters but won't be long now and we'll be able to tell.  Their starting to lose their chick down and get their real feathers in.

The kids still love them just as much as the first day we brought them home.  They love to go out and check on their chicks.  One of the little black and white chicks is so in love with Drew.  I hope it's a girl so we can keep her.  Every time she hears Drew's voice she peeps and peeps and hops right over to the edge of the pen so he can pick her up.  She is just the cuddliest, loviest little chick I've ever seen.

It won't be long and we'll get to let them play in the yard.  I can't wait until spring so they can be outside eating bugs and digging in the dirt.  The other day it was almost 60 degrees out so we let this little one test out the grass.  she peeped and peeped the whole time she was outside.

Here's a little video…let's see if this works: It's just a little 15 second clip I had put up on Instagram but you can hear their sweet little peeps.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Off to Preschool

This week my son started preschool.  I had planned for him to go back at the start of the school year but we moved the same time school started so I couldn't enroll him back home and I missed enrollment for our new state.  I had been looking for options since we got here but nothing was right.  It was either too far, too expensive, or full.
I had enrolled Drew in a forest kindergarten program but ended up withdrawing him after 2 months.  It just wasn't for him and as parents we need to not only teach our kids to stick with things but we need to recognize when things just aren't a good fit for your kid.  I was a little disappointed because I really thought I had found a program that fit him and his personality but I missed the mark.
January started enrollment for traditional programs here so I enrolled him a school close to home that had an opening.

It was mixed feelings this week.  There are moments when Drew was happy and moments when he said he hated it.  But we'll keep trying and see how it goes.  Today was pretty exciting because he got to pick a treat out of the treasure box for being on green.

Because Drew's been home with me he hasn't done worksheets.  We do a lot of learning but I don't print out worksheets for him.  His preschool does worksheets.  The first one he brought home looked like this.

I asked him if he understood the directions and I asked him how many items were there.  He promptly told me 4, and showed me the number 4.  When I asked him why he circled the other numbers if he knew the answer he said there are also 3, and even 2 items.  I can see what he there.  That's totally the way he thinks and responds to directions.  He always has to do things his way.  One time I told him not to put the water in the sand table.  I turn my back and guess what…water and sand mixed.  When I got mad he said but mom, I didn't put the water in the sand table…I put the sand in the water table.  Oh this kid.  Always a loop hole with him.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

We Have Chickens!

When we looked at this house to buy one of the questions I asked was are we allowed to have chickens.  I didn't know if we ever would have them but I liked knowing that if I wanted to I could and that I didn't have to ask permission to an association to do anything.
After a couple months we ordered a chicken coop.  It arrived and we put it together  and the kids played in it with their stuffed chickens.  They seemed excited about having chicks but our move was stressful on one of our kids and I didn't want to throw too many new things at them at once.  So we put the coop in the shed.

I figured we would wait until spring to get chicks but when I started looking into the local farms around here many of them had babies ready around the first of the year, the reason being that at 12 weeks old they can run and play outside…and 12 weeks after the first of the year is spring.  I understood that timing.  You have to keep chicks warm anyway so you might as well keep them warm in the winter than keeping them warm when it's warm outside.

(You can see a stuffed duckling hanging out in the nesting box while I'm building it)

I found a local farmer not far from me that had chicks in the breeds that I liked so I called and go the okay to pick some up.  Drew came with me for the ride up there, he was more excited than I was.  When we got to the farm he was a little nervous because the roosters were strutting around outside and he was afraid they would peck at him but once he saw all the babies he wasn't nervous anymore.  The farmer also had ducklings.  Oh, I wish we had a pond.  Those ducks looked so cute!

(There are 3 Dominique's and 2 Buff Orpingtons)

(Chicks are very curious)

(It was love at first sight)

I was nervous with one of my kids being gentle enough with the chicks, since our move they have shown some aggression and acting out because they don't know exactly how to express all the feelings of loss and change.  But both my kids are amazing with these chicks.  My son loves them like they are his children, and they love him too.  I thought he would be nervous because he can be shy around new things but he's a natural.  My daughter is a little nervous to play with them but she loves to watch them and laugh at them and show them all her toys.

(Who knew chickens liked to cuddle)

(First thing this morning)

(My little chicken whisperer)

This morning the kids woke up early and were so excited to check on the chicks.  I was nervous that they would be too cold over night but they were fine, I have the heat light on them.

This is a special little chick, it had yucky poopy butt last night and the other 4 chicks didn't want to snuggle it.  A lone chick with yucky butt doesn't have much of a chance so I gave it a warm butt bath and snuggled it for a while before I put it back in it's little box for the night.  If we end up losing one my money is on this one, it just seems a little more shy and withdrawn from the others.  But let's hope we don't.  

Friday, January 3, 2014

Adventures in Homesteading

I feel like my life has turned around 180 degrees since we moved here.  I love it!  I was living in a town home with no yard of my own and an association that I had to answer to.  Now I'm living on my own tiny piece of land.  It's my land!  I can do anything I want.  It's an amazing feeling to have a little piece of the Earth that belongs to me.  I understand the American Dream.  It's not about the house, it's about having a place that's your own.  I never felt like that in my town home, nothing was mine really.  Sure I had a shelter that I could put my contents in but life isn't about the contents, it's about something more.  Contents can be lost in the blink of an eye but creating a lifestyle is different.
So here I am, starting a new adventure.  I feel like this is the life I was meant to live.  A simpler life, a more self sufficient life, a less materialist life.
We have only lived here 5 months so I haven't had much time to figure things out and set much up but I have done a few things.  At the end of the summer I bought local produce from a farm not far from me and made my own strawberry jam and canned about 8 jars of that.  I also made 3 large jars of apple sauce, 3 jars of salsa, 6 jars of pickles, and 4 jars of cranberry sauce (which I shared with the neighbors for Thanksgiving).  I've started making more food from scratch and getting away from the chemicals and preservatives that bombard convince foods and I've started buying more things local.  When I can help out the little guy as opposed to the chain grocery store that makes me feel like I'm doing my part to help my community.
About a month ago we bought a chicken coop and a local farmer now has chicks ready so I'm going to give him a call and see about getting a few chicks, then come summer (or fall) I should start having fresh eggs of my own.
This spring I'm going to plant a garden and grow some of my own fruits and vegetables.  I also need to set up rain barrels.  We are on a well out here and I don't want to waste my water to water my garden when I can get rain for free.
I'm new to all of this but I'm going to have fun figuring this all out and I'll try to update as I go along.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Welcome to the South

I promise I'll post pictures.  I wanted to get my house settled a little bit more before I show the world.  It is no fun unpacking box after box, but let me get through a couple more so it's not so cluttery and then I'll take pictures of each room for you all, actually I guess that should be ya'll now.

My kids have adjusted really well to this house.  I was expected more problems but they just feel at home here I guess.  The one problem is my children are suburban kids.  They are used to sidewalks, manicured lawns, woodchipped playgrounds, and street lights.  We moved to a pretty rural area.  There are no street lights, no sidewalks, and when you play outside the grass touches you!  There are also bugs bugs and more bugs.  This is the south after all.  Drew has a little trouble with all the bugs but he's getting used to them, Kara on the other hand screams every time a bug lands on her and her favorite place to play is in the garage with the door closed.  You would think someone was stabbing her the way she screams.  We've gotten many looks when we are out and a tiny gnat flies near her.  Hopefully she'll get over this soon and learn how to be a country girl.  Both my kids now walk outside and say spray me and hold out their different body parts for me to apply bug spray.  Kara even holds her hair up and says neck too.  The mosquitos are horrible this year and my children must taste delicious.  My poor kids have been bit so much already.  I am trying to keep bug spray around but these mosquitos are brutal and bite us even with spray on.
It will be nice if the temperature dips down low enough to kill off some of these bugs.

Here's some pictures from my phone of my kids enjoying the outside and some of the critters that live around us.

On our first NC walk (at the hotel actually)

Our first treasures

Swinging on his swing right after our house closing

Our new buddy, he eats spiders! 

splashing in a puddle in the driveway

peeking out at big brother and mommy

Our playground.  We have to make a few improvements but it's sturdy.  

Welcome home my little ones.  We will make lots of memories in this house. 

Here comes our stuff! 

We found a splash park.  Good thing, it's HOT down here

chillin' at our first mom's club party

Look at these huge mushrooms that pop up overnight

little lizards that are everywhere.  Drew tries so hard to catch them, they are just too fast

The little beach area on the lake near us

A little turtle friend that roams around our yard

Our lake

Beach baby

Getting our mail for the first time.  My kids didn't really know what a mailbox was.  We had a lock box before. 

doing some yard work

look closely, it's a peeper.  It's tiny!  We also have small brown toads all over the back yard. 

Huge moth that looks like a dead leaf

They love having a swing set in the backyard.